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Web Site Measurement Hacks by Eric T. Peterson

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Hack #48. Segment Visitors to Understand Specific Group Activity

Web visitors are complex creatures, and each has slightly different behaviors and goals. Visitor segmentation is a popular strategy to differentiate these groups and develop a deeper understanding of your audience.

Different visitors come to your web site for different purposes. Some come to your web site to read your content, evaluate your offerings, or make purchases. Others come looking for employment opportunities or investment information. Still others may be looking for customer support. The behavior of these distinct groups will vary a great deal, as should your goals for their membership. For example, if a web measurement report told you that only one percent of your total visitors complete an important task, you may think that your web site is failing miserably. However, if you segment your visitors, focusing only on visitors who respond to a targeted email campaign, you may find that 30 percent of these visitors complete the task.

Given differences in browsing habits and ultimate goals, it certainly makes sense to leverage your measurement toolset to segment visitors in meaningful ways and create different sets of metrics for each. Fortunately, many of the top web measurement vendors offer some type of visitor segmentation tools that provide for differentiation of visitors (Figure 3-13).

Examples of Visitor Segments

No two web sites are likely to benefit from the exact same visitor segments; different analysts ...

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